Spadina Museum

Spadina Museum

(Spadina House and Gardens)

Spadina Museum or Spadina House is an historic three storey manor surrounded by gardens, located on the Davenport Hill, along the Spadina Road close to Toronto downtown. The museum is also known for its gardens.

The first house constructed on the Spadina Hill was built in 1818 by Dr. William Warren Baldwin. It was him who named his 200-acre property and estate Spadina, which derived from the native word espadinong (“sudden rise of land” in aboriginal language).The first two storey wood frame house burnt down in 1835. Dr. Baldwinbuilt a smaller country estate on the property in 1836.

In 1866 James Austin, a wealthy banker, founder of the Dominion Bank, acquired the land. In 1892, James Austin turned over the house and 20 acres of the property to his son, Albert William Austin. Albert Austin expanded the house in several renovations, including the addition of a third floor in 1912. The architects who collaborated in expanding the house were Vaux Chadwick and Eustace Bird.

Albert Austin sold much of the property to the City of Toronto in 1913 for the construction of the St. Clair Reservoir. Albert Austin died in 1933. The last member of the family to live in the house was Anna Kathleen Thompson, a daughter of Albert Austin. She lived there from 1942 until 1982.

See also:

  • History of Spadina Museum

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